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MSG delegation to visit Jakarta and Bali only, not West Papua

Tabloid Jubi - January 10, 2014

Victor Mambor, Jayapura – A delegation of foreign ministers from Melanesia Spearhead Group (MSG) member states will reportedly be visiting Indonesia in the next few days. The visit should have taken place last year.

The visit, which represents a resolution adopted by the MSG Summit in Noumea in June last year, was decided after the West Papua National Coalition for Liberation (WPNCL) submitted an application for MSG membership.

The MSG member states were forced to postpone the membership application after Indonesia proposed a visit to Jakarta and Papua to take a closer look at the issue of human rights violations allegedly perpetrated by Indonesia.

The visit is planned to occur on January 11-15 and representatives from the Kanak Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS) reportedly flew to Jakarta last night.

Contrary to the hopes of many however, Jakarta has only invited the delegation to visit Jakarta and Bali, not Papua. This has triggered protests from Vanuatu, an MSG member that has expressed concern about the issue of self-determination for the Papuan people. When contacted by Jubi, Vanuatu Deputy Prime Minister Edward Natapei, who is also the foreign minister, said that Vanuatu has sent a letter of protest to the MSG secretariat about the invitation.

"The invitation does not include Papua but instead just Jakarta and Bali. We have asked the MSG chairperson to confirm that Jakarta will include a visit to Papua in the agenda before Monday (13/1 – Ed)", Natapei told Jubi on Friday morning January 10.

At a meeting attended by MSG foreign ministers prior to the MSG Summit in June, Fiji Foreign Affairs Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola said the MSG visit to Indonesia was an initiative of the Indonesian government. "We all agreed that the mission would be to depart for Jakarta at the invitation of the Indonesian government then go to West Papua. This year (2013 – Ed), depending on the date that is agreed to by the Indonesian government", said Kubuabola at the time.

Speaking before an MSG Summit plenary meeting on June 21, Indonesian Deputy Foreign Minister Wisnu Wardhana said Indonesia's relationship with the MSG must be strengthened and improved, and one way to do this was by inviting MSG member state foreign ministers to come to Indonesia.

"In order to strengthen Indonesia's relationship with the MSG, Indonesia has invited MSG member state foreign ministers to come to Indonesia. To exchange experiences and provide an opportunity to see and better understand developments in Indonesia, including in Papua and West Papua", said Wardhana.

Papuan political prisoner Filep Karma meanwhile has asked that the MSG delegates also meet with Papuan political prisoners who are currently spread across several different jails in Papua.

"I'm asking that during the visit the MSG leaders go to Papua in order to visit Papuan political prisoners", Karma told Jubi from the Class IIA Correctional Institution in Abepura, Jayapura, on Thursday January 9. Karma said they should not just visit his prison but prisons in other Papuan cities that have political prisoners such as the correctional institutions in Biak, Nabire, Manokwari, Sorong, Wamena and Fakfak.

"I also hope that the MSG will not just meet with Papuan people who have been prepared by the Indonesian government but also meet any Papuan person who wants to speak with the MSG leaders", said Karma hopefully.

The West Papua National Committee (KNPB) meanwhile has called on the Indonesian government to be completely open without isolating the reality of the problems that are occurring in Papua. The MSG leaders must be given the freedom to meet with any Papuan person in order to understand the problems faced by the Papuan people since its integration with Indonesia.

"We welcome and are awaiting the MSG leader's presence in Papua", KNPB chairperson Victor Yeimo told Jubi from the Class IIA Correctional Institution in Abepura. (Jubi/Victor Mambor/Aprila)

[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski for the Indoleft news service.]

Source: http://tabloidjubi.com/2014/01/10/kunjungan-msg-hanya-ke-jakarta-dan-bali-tanpa-papua/.

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